Remember the movie Home Alone? Where Macaulay Culkin gets left behind when his family goes away for Christmas, and at first he’s glad all the people driving him crazy left him be, but by the time they come back he realizes how much he actually loves them?
This has been my life for the last week.
Peace Corps for married people can mean a lot of togetherness, and not necessarily in a good way. You live together, work in the same community, share the same friends, and basically don’t have a lot of time or space to yourself. There are moments when I CRAVE alone time. Just one hour where no one talks to me or can see me and I am just alone with my thoughts, a bottle of red wine and Grey’s Anatomy reruns. Since September, I haven’t gotten a whole lot of alone time. Kyle went to Skopje for three days this week, and then left again to go to scout camp in nearby village. When he left for camp on Friday, I relished a whole day by myself in our room. I did yoga, I listened to music I know he doesn’t like, I binge watched a season and a half of Grey’s Anatomy.
And then the loneliness set in.
I am not used to falling asleep by myself anymore. I am also always first to fall asleep, so I am not used to going to sleep in a dark and quiet room, which means every bump in the night is someone coming to murder me in my sleep. I went to the пазар and bought fruits and vegetables by myself. No one was there to convince me not to eat тост (aka a french fry sandwich) for lunch, and I had to talk myself out of it out loud like a crazy person on my way home. Having bought our usual whole kilo of strawberries that were so ripe they were going to go bad in a matter of hours, I had to eat them all myself (no regrets, this part was delicious). I was planning on doing some solo hiking/biking while Kyle was away, but the last two days of rain have kept me inside. When you’ve adapted to all this togetherness and then it’s taken away, it can feel a little like you’re floating in space waiting for someone to come and take you in. I’m basically getting too much of a good thing, and now I am ready to have my husband back, please and thank you.
To head off the loneliness I went up to Orel, the village where the scout house is, to visit Kyle and go hiking. It felt weird to just visit and then leave without him, even though I know he’ll be back tomorrow. But the weather was beautiful and everything is so green and bright right now that it really lifted my mood. One more night of falling asleep as quickly as possible after I turn off the light, and then I’ll be back to my normal schedule again (and probably craving alone time again too).